Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Exhibition coming up

As mentioned previous I did not get the commission for the Children's Festival and am anxious to see what did get accepted, though I'm told they are keeping it under wraps till the official announcements later on in march.

On a wonderful note I owe a big thank you to Red of Hiawatha house
for giving me the heads up about applying to show at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. I will be showing there this summer, wahoo! I decide to check a online dictionary and what do I find, as well being an exclamation of excitement wahoo is a north american burning bush, I'm hot now!

Or maybe cool as a  blue mackerel?
any of various American shrubs or small trees, as the winged elm, Ulmus alata, or a linden, Tilia heterophyl
a shrub or small tree, Euonymus atropurpurea, of North America, having finely serrated, elliptical leaves and pendulous capsules that in opening reveal the bright-scarlet arils of the seeds. Also called burning bush.
a large, swift mackerel, Acanthocybium solanderi, widespread in warm seas, of a steel blue to greenish blue above and silver below, often leaping from the water and occasionally schooling in great numbers: valued as a food and game fish. Also called peto.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc.
Read more: wahoo: meaning and definitions —

This gargoyle sits on the clock tower in St Albert. I have been wanting to photograph them for quite some time and yesterday as we were in St Albert dropping off another art proposal we took a few moments to admire them. It was COLD and Windy and Chilly so only snapped a few and jumped back into the warm vehicle.

It was quite a filled day as next we went to the farmers market to get Holden Colony chickens and eggs. I've found that using store bought chickens does not make for quality soup, the broth doesn't gel and is dull on the palate, Hutterite chickens on the other hand are wonderful, just like Mom used to raise. The boiled bones broth gels as it should and is very flavourful for soups. The eggs have hard shells as eggs should. Have you noticed that store bought egg shells shatter easily and end up a mess of bits when breaking them?
So it makes me wonder what have major producers done to reduce the quality of chickens and eggs so noticeably? Is it drugged feed full of antibiotics and grow-fast-crap and unnatural feed used in the industry to garner greater wealth over providing quality products?

These cuties were sitting outside the farmers market, again quick snapped shots as next we stop home to grab a slice of toast and jam and head out to the opening of the Terwilliger Sports Plex. Gerald needed to attend as bones of his ancestors dug out of Rosedale Flats aboriginal graveyard were dumped in the landfill that the sports-plex sits on, sad but true. 
I wandered while he listened to the speeches and then discoursed with MLAs. Someone asked me what my first impression was of the sports-plex. Well.... it was oh my hell, this is like a mall, coffee shops on each corner complete with hotdog sellers and junk food vending machines. Kinda an oxymoron isn't it!

Then my sweetie took me to Hawrelac park to check out the bird feeders I had a pressure headache and wanted to get a bit of air before going home.
Sweet little downey woodpecker posed nicely in the burst of strong light that appears at waning of day, gotta love it.
Big Hugs!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bikes and Art

Yesterday Gerald drove me to drop off my submission for the Bike Art Auction, I completed a couple of digital paintings which I pigment printed then framed simply. This event sounds like its going to be fun, I hope we can attend. We talked briefly with a fella at the shop, I asked if they make special bikes for people with disabilities and he said they have and would be willing to see what they could do to assemble one for me; a trike maybe?
I sure do miss bike riding and it would be wonderful to be able to wheel around the block again. I am seriously considering going in for a discussion about the possibilities. I gave away a beautiful old bike a few years back as I had not the strength left in my knees to ride a standard bike and every spring I wistfully dream about it.

Summer Dream
To dream, to fly, to ride the winds with spokes whirling, leaves dancing in my wake
Dream, dream to remember, to smile at simpler joys past gone
Dream is the key to hold fast to the heart
The joins are weak, unreliable
So I dream
       the wind on my face

Monday, February 21, 2011

first rejection letter of 2011

My creativity level was hampered a little this week as traipsing after owls through deep snow last weekend took me a bit to recover from. Sometimes it sucks to be a gimp, but the reality in life is everyone has something to deal with and in my case its not such a big deal. I am grateful to be able to walk even though I may need technical assistance and I do know my limits, but I choose to push them at times, especially to get such wonderful images as I did. So after dislocations and pain this week do I still feel it was worth it, Darn Right! An artist must create despite all odds.

Today I received the official rejection letter from the submission I sent to create pieces in conjunction with the Children's Festival. Its alright as the pay offered was really lousy and if I had gotten the commission they would have gotten way more than their monies worth. As it is I can now share my submission with you. In photoshop I altered butterfly photographs so they look more textile like. I then pigment printed each image onto quilters fabric and 24 hours later coated each image with acrylic gel to set the pigment to the cotton. Then I cut and sewed and in general had fun creating each as a individual hanging. The finish touch was to sew on antique buttons. The triangle hanger is recycled coat hangers. Wouldn't one of these look great hanging near the front door advertising the joy of spring/summer. I love the beauty and diversity in creation and I love diversity in creating. I am sure I will find a place where they would be happy to sell these for me. Each hanging is about 8 x 21 inches.


Spring is on its way, hugs and enjoy your day.
Oh ya, I also have good news of being accepted for a exhibition, which I will tell about that later.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Chickadee Paint

Chickadee Paint
image 10x8 inches

I had fun creating this pixel painting based on two separate photos that Gary posted on his wildlife art challenge blog. Of course its interpreted with bold color background as most of my bird paintings are. This image would make for a cute carry bag,  I will have to see how it prints out onto fabric, maybe it may end up as one of my textile fabric hangings. Birds are such fun. Have a great day, big Hugs.

 Gary Keimig Wildlife Art Challenge.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

hawk owl and red fox

Wonderful sunny day today for a country winter picnic. We drive around the back roads looking for birds. Today we came across a Northern Hawk Owl (my first) and luck would have it that others had been previously to view it as a trail of footprints led in through the pasture closer to where it perched. So there I am a gimp with leather wrist braces which enable me to hold the camera up and the necessary leg braces holding both knees together attempting to step into large sinkhole footsteps that come up to the knees and deeper in places. I was determined though and half way there as my legs got heavier I thought, what if I fall, so I glance back at the car and thankfully Gerald was following behind me, he is such a sweetheart.
Now I am sitting in my recliner all achy and sore and really really tired; so was it worth it, you betcha.

 All these photos are cropped to enable you to see the owl better. The first two images were taken at the end of the sinkhole path and the last two were taken from the road way. We glanced up when we got back to the car and there he was posing. I believe he spotted some small birds and was thinking about flight, or else he was just stretching a wing. The last shot I washed out the exposure of the sky as I was shooting towards the sun, it worked as the owl is clear, yahoo.

 This beautiful fox was racing along the tree line, it stopped, looked, then turned tail. We went up the next road and saw a farmer ploughing his equipment yard so the tractor most likely frightened the fox as we again spotted it, this time on the roadway ahead of us. Then once again it spun round and headed back to the farm. I have been wanting to see a fox up close, this is the closest I have gotten. Both these images are cropped to show the fox better.
I was shooting out of the car window and hoped for a good shot as man-o-man can foxes run, and they are so light on their feet as though flying, I like this shot as foxy is air-born. We watched a coyote cross a field and it was sinking and stumbling continually, surely not as graceful as Red on the snow. We saw a few snow buntings fly past us and a grouse walked across the road while we were having our picnic.
 See the dark spot on the right of the road? 
Of course with my boots loudly crunching on the snow the grouse headed further into the brush where I could not get a clear shot, but oh well that the way of bird photography.
all in all a wonderful day, hugs to all!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Change can be good

Spring Blossoms; Goldfinch
12x8 inches
I previously posted this image months ago but since added a few more leaves at the top right and the green bars. The bars in my initial drawing are positioned at the bottom right. Months back I spent quite a bit of time painting bars in and wiping them out until finally set aside the painting though leaving it hang in my view. The problem initially was with using white and yellow in the bar strokes which drew the eye away from the bird. Recently I went back in without hesitation and finished up the piece to satisfaction for now the bars stop the eye and give the painting a bit of distinction from being a general bird and flowers motif. This painting will hang in one of my up-an-coming shows. You notice the difference in color between the two images? The turquoise in the actual painting is a closer match to the lower image which was photographed outside in the shade on a sunny day; the more recent version was photographed last week indoors, showing me how much quality and quantity of light makes a difference.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Happy Ending

We had a poor wee finch hit the picture window saturday so Gerald quickly put on his boots and went on a rescue mission as the finch had dropped to the snow, and as it was snowing and blowing he would not have survived lying there. We never had trouble with window strikes till we got new windows. I think the UV reflective crap they put in windows these days must reflect the sky too much. Gerald handed me the bird and I held him in a soft towel to warm him a bit then placed him uncovered in a shoebox as I didn't want to overheat him but left the towel under him and closed the lid. There were two holes in the side of the box to let in air and filtered light. I was worried Mr finch would not make it as he was pretty still for quite some time, but after about an hour when Gerald stroked his head he fluttered his wings so we opened the door, held the box open and out he flew to the tree top, I was so happy. So was his mate I am sure, while other finches came and went she held vigil near the feeder waiting, waiting. 

Female finch

male finch

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sandhill Cranes

I managed to take photos of my sandhill crane paintings this morning, the portraits are posted on my art blog,  click on image in right sidebar to see all three portraits.
A parent lesser sandhill crane bringing swamp vole lunch to junior, mmm tasty treat. We watched the parents attentively bring food to the youngster. They would bring food and place it gently a couple of feet away then watch to see that the youngster took it. I had never seen wild sandhill cranes before so it was quite a treat. I fell in love with these small 3 feet tall birds. I painted six paintings of them in January, three portraits, two full single parent birds on brilliant color backgrounds and this one. January has been a good month.

I read that the sandhill crane is like the dinosaur of birds in that its been around a long time. Sadly industrialization and devastation of habitat has affected all the various world crane populations with the sandhill seeming to be the most adaptive and holding it own to the point of nesting in busy areas close to man. These ones nested at Reifiel Sanctuary in Delta BC. The Whooping crane does not fair as well and the only wild place it nests is in Wood Buffalo National Park in the far north of Alberta and does not nest if disturbed by man. I want to paint a whooping crane soon as well, though I have not yet had the opportunity to watch them in the wild. I do have a few zoo bird photos that maybe usable.

Lunchtime: Sandhill Cranes
Acrylic painting on 16x20 inch canvas painted right around the sides so no need for expensive framing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Birds at the suet

 Cheeky magpie, love the glint in his eye. The sun was out beautifully today and it warmed up with no wind so I was able to get out for a bit and enjoy a breath of fresh air so maggie was not shot through a window. I find magpies interesting birds, quite beautiful also. 

 Boreal chickadee at the suet. We had two come today. Taken through the window.
This one was taken while I was out today, you can see how much clearer detail is without double pane between the camera and subject. I had a bit of difficulty getting clear shot due branches in the way though I am pleased with this image of full song being belted out, and look how fluffed up e' is. 

 Feisty female finch attempting to chase off all the males at the feeder, this fella stood his ground though she did usurp three others. Poor lighting as it was taken at dusk last night.

 A male downey woodpecker has now found the suet.

Squirrel aerobics, too funny watching him try and reach the suet, he hasn't figured it out yet.

Heres Hunny bunny. I notice that his ears and nose stayed brown. We've noticed some jacks are half brown already, maybe it helps city bunnies to blend into the dirty snow and street gravel.